|16th April 2008, 15:06||#1|
A Wild Wild ride to the Mighty Chansal Ghati
Towering 4520mts above sea level, the mightly chansal Pass, and the
Chansal Ghati are the most prominent mountain range to be seen from
Unlike the Rohtang Pass or even the more remote Jalori Pass, the
Chansal is no joke. On the former you can reach the pass as early as
march, and there is quite a bit of traffic to keep you company.
But Chansal is no tame city beast. The road is treacherous, the
incline is steep, and ask any local in April, they say it can't be
But doing that was on our minds, as 4 of us (Me my wife, a friend and
his wife), set out for Rohru, set beside the Pabbar river.
We failed, but still, it was the ride of a lifetime.
Day 1 : Ludhiana-Rohru
It was a very uneventful ride, with slight edgy nerves as the old
indica started overheating a bit in the traffic jam after Kalka. Not
much, but when you are planning to go uphill, even slight is a worry.
Parked on the side, checked the oil, checked the fan, checked the
Maybe a thermostat abberation.
Anyways carried on through maddening traffic jams(Long weekend you
see), beyond shimla and landed up at Fagu around 3:15pm for lunch at
the HPTDC Peach Blossom.
Lunch time was over, but they took pity on us I guess!
Rohru was still 4 hours away.
Took the diversion from Theog, and after that it was a narrow backroad
almost all the way.
Heavy rains greeted us in the evening near Khara patthar, and
sightings of snow on the mountains elevated our moods.
Around 8pm we checked in the Hotel Chansal, which is no great shakes,
but at 3000rs for 2 rooms and 2 nights, its a steal, considering the
rooms are AC too(which we did not use).
Off season discount working here, otherwise the rooms are 1000 a
After chatting a bit, and a small walk, decided to retire for the
night, tomorrow was going to be a wild wild ride.
Day 2 : To the Mightly Chansal... Almost
It was past 10am when we started out of the hotel with high
spirits. Chansal Ghati was just around 40kms away after all. The hotel
fellows told us that we would be able to go till there is snow, and
there is lot of snow(we could see that with our own eyes!)
The route was simple. Go till Chirgaon, and then take the dirt road to
Larot and beyond. Larot is where buses go to(I seriously wonder how).
At chirgaon, whenever we asked the way most locals told us that the
road will be closed.
But we decided to carry on till the road is closed.
Soon we were climbing up the dirt road, pussyfutting over the numerous
rivulets on the way. I was beginning to understand the importance of
high GC with every scrape and thunk from the bottom.
Stopped on the way up to enjoy the view
Crossing Larot we came across a cricket ground
The Ascent was steep, and soon things started going worse. Snow was
melting, and this meant countless low streams on the way. No matter
how slow I went, their was a mild scrape. At many places the center of
the narrow road was much higher, so I had to keep one wheel on the
edge of the cliff and one in the center.
When I thought its not going to get any worse, the who road grew
slushy. Yesterday's rain had done its job, soon on the uphill
stretches the front wheels were spinning like crazy, I kept the pedal
to the metal because if the car stops, we won't be able to go up, it
was so slushy, and all uphill.
But gradually the slush lessened, and we thought we are going to make
it, till we came across a huge clump of snow.
The GPS said 2972 meters, and finding so much snow at this altitude
was a bit of an abberation.
Tried to go through it and got struck, as it was an uphill stretch and
no ways we would be able to go through it.
But where there is a will there is a way.
We got down, inspected the soft snow and guaged it to be about 8-12
I took the wheel and while my co-passengers started digging the snow
and breaking it in the center so that nothing hard remains.
The idea was simple.
Once the snow is very soft so that it can't hurt the undercarriage, we
will zoom through it.
I backed the car, raced forward and "thwump!!". Very near the end the
car is bogged down.
But there is hope, I rev and twist the steering and the car shakes. Do
a little more back and forward shake and a little push and shove, and
See the clump of snow. It looks small, but the snow was almost a foot
deep, but lucky for is it was soft snow.
But the celebrations were short lived. Fate is a cruel teacher, and
soon we faced a obstacle no Hummer, Gurkha or Safari could have
right in the middle of the road was a huge huge tree trunk, fallen
recently(most probably by the recent storm?)
Dejected, we decided to take the car back over the snow clump and park
it over there since the road was wide there for any other
vehicle(maybe we get lucky enough and a bulldozer passes on the way?)
to go through.The plan was to carry on foot till 2pm, and return from
there whether or not we find any snow.
Going back over the snow clump was easy as it was downhill and the car
So we took a walk up. The entire road was free of snow and obstacles,
and we were just cursing our luck!
To reach so far and be blocked by something so unexpected.
Our snow hunt did not bear much fruit, and we found small clumps only,
so the only way now was to enjoy the scenery and a hidden waterfall
It was 2pm already and getting cloudy. Getting stuck here in a
rainstorm was not our idea of fun, so we started driving back,
enjoying the scenery on the way
Tried to find food in Larot, but had to make do with Kurkure at a
We were hungry and chirgaon was still an hour away.
Saw dinner on the road and felt even more hungry
The last adeau to snow clad mountains,
Had lunch at a small shack at Chirgaon, and decided to enjoy the
riverside. It was shortlived as it started raining.
So dejected we just went back to the hotel.
At night the sky cleared, and it was time for some riverside fun
Thats Chansal ghati in moonlight
With that, it was time to call it a day
Last edited by tsk1979 : 16th April 2008 at 15:13.
|16th April 2008, 15:16||#2|
Day 3 : The ride back through the scenic route
We decided to go back via Narkanda as the road to Theog was very bad,
and distance was same.
We bid farewell to Pabbar valley before starting the climb up to
The views were amazing
The road was narrow and steep, but the scenery made up for it
After Baggi, the road vanished, and we saw lots of snow
It was just 14 kms more to Narkanda
Filled up diesel at Narkanda, and then it was the ride back.
The car got injured due to a speed breaker made by some stupid temple
wallahs on a blind turn on NH22! But luckily no serious stuff
Reached ldh late at night, dead tired, and early morning had to run
back to Noida(no office leaves).
This was one of our wildest rides!
What next? Maybe Daranghati, or maybe Kunzum
|16th April 2008, 15:19||#3|
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Nice travelogue and Pictures.
I am surprised to find a KA registered vehicle running in the North, no plans for re-registration??
Last edited by dadu : 16th April 2008 at 15:20.
|16th April 2008, 15:24||#4|
|16th April 2008, 15:36||#5|
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Fantastic, both the ride and the photos, pity you could not make it.
Just to share an experience of mine - ploughing through soft snow can be damaging, I did that once and my gear box casing developed a small rupture, leaking gear oil. That was in the Matiz.
Any idea whether the road from Rohru to Chakrata is open? Heard that it is a tterrible road and also gets snowed down during winter.
|16th April 2008, 15:40||#6|
No idea about that hv.
As for snow, it was snowing continuously for 3 days on the high mountains. So everything above 3500mts above sea level will be snowed in.
As for ploughing, the part which takes the hit is the cross member, and we did not really zoom through, but mild speed.
TO be doubly sure we first broke the snow with rocks and sticks thoroughly so that it was just 6 inches deep.
|16th April 2008, 16:15||#8|
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|16th April 2008, 16:20||#9|
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You are seriously a fundoo photographer. Fantastico pics. Don't you wish you'd gone on a bike?
hvk saab, i had planned on riding on that rohru-chakrata route last year, but zilch info - very little visited, and completely bad terrain even for bikes. for gaddies would be even more tougher.
|16th April 2008, 16:25||#11|
However, with a bike, the log would not have been an obstacle.
|16th April 2008, 17:04||#12|
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|16th April 2008, 17:54||#13|
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Kudos to your spirit Tanveer.
and once again very beautiful pics and interesting travelogue.
Keep them coming.
And who can believe that all this you are doing all this spirited travelling with an Indica which has already ran 1 Lac kms.
|16th April 2008, 18:18||#14|
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|16th April 2008, 20:43||#15|
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Thats one helluva drive there Tanveer, good job with the camera mate.
And am sure you are putting the Indica to good use under the rough terrain.
BTW how are the accelers holding up ?